Motorcycle Fatalities in State Prompt Maryland State Police to Issue Warnings
The Maryland State Police issued the following media release in the aftermath of three fatal motorcycle crashes in the past two weeks—all on the Eastern Shore. In the first
accident, a tractor trailer pulled out in front of a motorcycle. The second, a motorcycle driver on Route 50 veered off the road, lost control and hit a pole. In the third incident, a motorcycle driver navigating a turn lost control and hit a culvert.
Here are the details and the Maryland State Police tips:
SHORE MOTORCYCLE FATALITIES PROMPT ADDITIONAL POLICE WARNINGS
(EASTON, MD) – Although motorcycle fatalities are down compared with last year and despite special traffic enforcement initiatives by state and local police on the Eastern Shore, three recent motorcycle fatalities are prompting additional police warnings to both motorcycle and automobile drivers to use caution, especially during the warm weather months.
Maryland State Police on the Shore have investigated three fatal motorcycle crashes in the past two weeks, with two occurring this past weekend. The first fatal crash occurred on the night of June 9, 2012, at the intersection of Rt. 404 and Rt. 313 in Caroline County. A tractor trailer pulled into the path of a motorcycle headed east on Rt. 404. The motorcycle operator was pronounced deceased at the scene.
The second motorcycle fatality occurred on the afternoon of June 23rd on eastbound Rt. 50 at Nesbit Road in Queen Anne’s County. For unknown reasons, the motorcycle operator veered across the eastbound lanes and onto the Nesbit Road exit. The driver lost control and struck a light pole. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The third motorcycle fatality occurred just after 8:00 p.m. on June 24th on Rt. 300 east of Duhammel Corner Road in Queen Anne’s County. The preliminary investigation indicates the motorcycle operator was rounding a curve on westbound Rt. 300 when, for unknown reasons, he drove off the right side of the road and struck a culvert. The operator was pronounced dead at Chester River Medical Center.
“Maryland State Police barracks across the Shore have been working special traffic enforcement initiatives on their own and in coordination with local law enforcement since before Memorial Day Weekend in an effort to reduce fatalities and keep motorists safe during the increased summer holiday flow,” Major Jerry Jones, Assistant Chief of the Maryland State Police Field Operations Bureau said. “We urge motorcycle operators to use caution and ensure they are doing all they can to be safe and be seen. Automobile drivers are urged to be on the alert for motorcyclists, who are more difficult to see than the average highway vehicle and to be cautious and courteous when traveling in the proximity of motorcycles.”
Through the third week of June 2011, 36 motorcycle operator fatalities had occurred in Maryland. During that same period this year, preliminary figures indicate there have been 22 motorcycle operator fatalities. That decrease is significant and one that Maryland State Police want to see maintained throughout the rest of the year.
Here are important tips from the State Highway Administration and the Maryland State Police:
Tips for Riders
- Make yourself visible. Choose riding gear that increases your visibility in traffic in addition to providing protection in the event of a crash. Use bright colors and retro-reflective strips or decals, especially at night.
- Ride so you are seen. There is no one safe place to ride. Use lane positioning to be seen. Ride with your headlight on and consider using a modulating headlight.
- Give yourself space and time to react. Allow space for emergency braking or for avoiding a crash. Make your lane moves gradually.
- Signal your intentions. Signal before changing lanes. Avoid weaving between lanes. Flash your brake light when you are slowing down and before stopping.
- Be courteous and respect other road users. Being courteous, non-aggressive and cooperative can go a long way in reducing crashes.
Tips for Drivers
• Respect the motorcyclist. Motorcycles are vehicles with the same privileges as any vehicle on the roadway. Give the motorcyclist a full lane of travel.
• Look for motorcycles. Motorcycles are smaller profile vehicles that are harder to see and whose speeds are more difficult to estimate. Look for motorcycles at intersections, especially before making a left turn. Check your blind spots frequently and before changing lanes. Always signal your intentions.
• Allow plenty of space. Traffic, weather and road conditions require the motorcyclists to react and maneuver differently. Allow enough room for the motorcyclist to maneuver and enough time for you to adjust.
• Be courteous and respectful. Being courteous, non-aggressive and cooperative can go a long way in reducing crashes.